Women not having progesterone is like men not having testosterone!
Let's discuss what the pill is actually doing to your hormones. It is shutting them down entirely, so the pathway between your ovaries and hypothalamic gland is shut down. It's chemical castration (reversible). The pill does not balance hormones; it switches them off!
Remember, pill bleeds are not periods. A real period only occurs in a cycle with ovulation. When we don't ovulate on the pill, we don't produce progesterone.
As Lara Briden put it – “We will switch off your testosterone,” we would tell them, “And replace it with a synthetic pseudo-testosterone. It's going to cause weight gain, depression, and loss of libido—but don't worry! All the other boys take it.”
Can you imagine, a world where we shut down men's testosterone?
Why isn't the same value being placed on our progesterone?
Progesterone, in the body:
- improves cardiovascular health
- stimulates hair growth
- has anti-testosterone properties (think jawline acne and facial hair growth)
- great for a calming mood and sleep
- reduces the risk of breast cancer
- reduces inflammation
- regulates immune function
- supports healthy bones
According to endocrinology professor Jerilynn Prior, “women benefit from 35 to 40 years of ovulatory cycles, not just for fertility but also to prevent osteoporosis, stroke, dementia, heart disease, and breast cancer.” So ovulation and a normal menstrual cycle is like a monthly contribution to your long-term health.
And we make no progesterone when we are on the pill. Progestin, the synthetic replacement of progesterone is NOT progesterone and does not have the same benefits. The only way to make progesterone is to ovulate.
Ovulation is SO important for women, not just to make a baby. And the pill doesn't allow you to ovulate. There are other forms of contraception/birth control that do allow this natural monthly event!!
Note: for women with endometriosis, adenomyosis, and PMDD, the pill can be so helpful and i acknowledge this!